We took Linus to the vet this morning.  Got him more shots, more meds, and a couple pamphlets on training and registration.  I try not to look at receipts as we pay for these things, as though we might be able to catch something that we don’t need.  It’s all got to be done, and if we can get it over with now, the better off we’ll be!

We talked to our vet about Linus’ puppy habits – biting, tugging on the leash a bit, etc.  Nothing we’re that concerned about, but they are habits we’d like to be taught how to break as opposed to letting him get away with them.  And so, the vet gave US a bit of training on how to make his world black and white, how to discipline, how to encourage.

For leash training, our vet recommended the choke collar (sorry, sensitive dog owners).  No, Linus is not a problem with the leash, and so this collar simply teaches him more quickly not to pull, and therefore he stops choking himself.  I was all for it, as Linus is already doing pretty well and the collar would probably only speed up the process a bit.  Sure thing, doctor!  And so we headed to Petco for the collar and a few other things.  We did NOT expect the lady at the register to give us a stern, motherly scolding as we tried to make our collar purchase.  We didn’t know what to make of it, as Linus seemed to do quite well when we put the collar on him earlier in the store.  No, no, no, she said, what you need is another collar (wish I could remember the name, but it involves a muzzle).  She called for someone to cover the register as she took us to the collars to show us what they did.  She put the collar on Linus, who began to immediately fight it.  “They do that,” she said, “but in a couple minutes he’ll stop.”  Then she began trying to walk with him around the store.

Even on the leash, just the way it is now, I have NEVER seen Linus put up such a fight.  He was pulling and tugging, and all the while this energetic lady kept chirping “good boy! Good boy! Come on, good boy!” I saw nothing “good” about it.  He wouldn’t obey for anything.  Then she told us we should give him treats, and tried to put one in his muzzled mouth.  He managed to force it down despite the muzzle’s restriction, and off she charged again with him dragging behind on three paws, while the fourth latched itself to the muzzle in an attempt to remove it. After dragging him through the entire store, she finally stopped and told us, it works better when you start him off testing it out at home. I replied that he actually does pretty well on the leash, and that he seemed to be doing worse than I’ve ever seen him.  The lady determined that softer treats were what we needed.  Mike replied that perhaps Linus really wasn’t as bad on the leash as we thought, and perhaps we wouldn’t need to buy anything.

We did end up buying the choke collar.  We’re keeping the tag on it for a couple days, because if it seems to be hard on him we WILL return it.  I just never knew that people could give you as many different opinions on dogs as they do children.  Once again, it comes down to us determining what works best, which, I suppose, is good practice for kids.